Cougars Sweep Utes in Conference Play

Sophomore Jonathan Tavernari contributed a game-high 20 points in BYU's win over Utah on Wednesday. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- With a 67-59 win over the University of Utah, the BYU men's basketball team set a new program record by improving its Marriott Center win streak to 45 games. The Cougars are now to 21-5 on the season and 10-1 in Mountain West Conference play. The win also extends BYU's lead in the Deseret First Duel to 28-19.

"I think it was great," said BYU head coach Dave Rose. "The game came down to a couple of key plays. It wasn't about one particular player. It was two good teams battling each other."

With the win the Cougars have now won four straight games against their in-state rivals, marking the first time they've do so since the 1993-94 and 1994-95 seasons.

Jonathan Tavernari led three Cougars scoring in double figures with 20 points, with Lee Cummard and Jimmer Fredette each contributing 14 points. Cummard also pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds, marking his third double-double of the season.

Utah won the opening tipoff, but both teams were kept off the scoreboard until Tavernari scored on a running lay-in with 18:31 remaining in the first half. Back-to-back three-pointers by Cummard and Tavernari put the Cougars up 8-4.

Tavernari's aggressive defensive efforts paid off as he converted a stolen ball into two points for the Cougars. Consecutive Utah field goals put the Utes on top 12-11, but Tavernari was there once again to regain the BYU lead.

Fredette, Trent Plaisted and Chris Miles all made trips to the free-throw line, as the Utes collected 10 fouls in the first half compared to the Cougars' six. Utah's first field goal in almost five minutes of play came with 2:21 remaining in the first half.

Just when it looked like the Utes would come back to take the lead, a costly Utah turnover resulted in a Fredette make from behind the arc to put BYU up 33-26 heading into the break.

At the half, Plaisted, Cummard and Tavernari combined for a total of 25 points, the exact number they scored in the entire game against Utah on Jan. 19.

After the break, Utah got out to a quick start, scoring the first five points of the second half. Cummard's put-back after a Tavernari miss gave BYU a four-point cushion at 35-31. The Utes continued to make shots, coming within one point after a Utah three with 12:08 remaining in the game.

"For a game where every shot and every rebound were contested, it was definitely a well-played game," said Rose.

Once again Fredette hit a big three-pointer to preserve BYU's lead, and Tavernari followed with one of his own on the Cougars' next possession, bringing the score to 45-38.

The Utes continued to fight however, with Luke Nevill scoring the next five points for Utah. Soon after, the center was forced to sub out as he was called for his fourth foul of the night with just over eight minutes to play in the game.

Both teams continued to trade baskets back-and-forth, holding BYU's lead to single digits. Coming out of a timeout with only two minutes remaining in the game, a costly Utah turnover set up Tavernari's seventh make from the field, putting BYU up 62-57. The sophomore's 2-for-2 trip to the charity stripe helped clinch the victory for the Cougars.

Up next the Cougars travel to take on San Diego State on Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. PT and will be broadcast live on CSTV.

CLICK HERE for postgame notes and quotes.

Official Basketball Box Score

Utah vs BYU Cougars

02/20/08 8:05 p.m. at Marriott Center, Provo, Utah

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VISITORS: Utah 15-9, 6-5 MWC

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN

21 GREEN, Shaun........ f 2-4 2-3 0-0 1 4 5 3 6 2 1 1 0 36

50 NEVILL, Luke........ c 5-14 0-0 1-1 1 2 3 4 11 0 0 3 0 21

11 BORHA, Lawrence..... g 4-10 0-4 4-5 0 7 7 4 12 1 2 0 2 32

15 BROWN, Carlon....... g 1-3 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 2 2 2 1 1 0 14

32 KEPKAY, Tyler....... g 0-3 0-1 0-0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 19

01 BRYANT, Johnnie..... 6-13 3-7 0-0 0 4 4 3 15 1 4 0 3 29

05 DRCA, Luka.......... 3-9 1-5 2-2 2 4 6 4 9 4 4 0 0 27

14 TILLIE, Kim......... 1-2 0-0 2-2 1 4 5 3 4 0 0 0 0 17

45 GRIM, Morgan........ 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 5

TEAM................ 1 1

Totals.............. 22-59 6-20 9-10 7 27 34 25 59 10 13 5 5 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 10-30 33.3% 2nd Half: 12-29 41.4% Game: 37.3% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 2-9 22.2% 2nd Half: 4-11 36.4% Game: 30.0% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 4-4 100 % 2nd Half: 5-6 83.3% Game: 90.0% 0

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HOME TEAM: BYU Cougars 21-5, 10-1 MWC

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN

20 BURGESS, Sam........ * 0-3 0-1 0-0 1 7 8 4 0 0 4 0 0 28

24 MURDOCK, Ben........ * 1-1 1-1 2-3 0 3 3 0 5 4 3 0 4 34

30 CUMMARD, Lee........ * 3-6 1-2 7-8 2 9 11 1 14 2 2 3 1 34

44 PLAISTED, Trent..... * 2-9 0-0 5-9 2 1 3 1 9 1 1 1 0 30

45 TAVERNARI, Jonathan. * 7-15 3-6 3-4 0 4 4 2 20 3 1 0 3 34

01 LOYD, JR., Michael.. 0-3 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3

32 FREDETTE, Jimmer.... 4-7 2-4 4-4 0 3 3 1 14 0 1 0 0 22

41 COLLINSWORTH, Chris. 0-1 0-0 0-2 0 1 1 2 0 1 0 0 0 8

54 MILES, Chris........ 2-3 0-0 1-2 0 2 2 2 5 0 1 0 0 7

TEAM................ 2 1 3

Totals.............. 19-48 7-15 22-32 7 31 38 13 67 11 13 4 8 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 10-23 43.5% 2nd Half: 9-25 36.0% Game: 39.6% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 4-9 44.4% 2nd Half: 3-6 50.0% Game: 46.7% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 9-15 60.0% 2nd Half: 13-17 76.5% Game: 68.8% 5

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Officials: Scott Thornley, Bobby Vetkoetter, Winston Smith

Technical fouls: Utah-None. BYU Cougars-None.

Attendance: 19460

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

Utah.......................... 26 33 - 59

BYU Cougars................... 33 34 - 67

Points in the paint-UT 24,BY 16. Points off turnovers-UT 9,BY 14.

2nd chance points-UT 12,BY 10. Fast break points-UT 2,BY 0.

Bench points-UT 28,BY 19. Score tied-2 times. Lead changed-4 times.

Last FG-UT 2nd-00:36, BY 2nd-01:03.

Largest lead-UT by 2 1st-17:08, BY by 8 2nd-00:23.

Tags: Results

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